Liv's Picks (page 2)

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Liv LIV
Originally from New Hampshire, Liv is a spiritual being having a bookseller experience. Her other experiences include teaching English in Thailand and singing in an indie band. If you catch her reading, it will likely be literary fiction, poetry, social issues or psychology...or whatever else captures her interest that week. 
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Be Not Afraid of Love: Lessons on Fear, Intimacy, and Connection By Mimi Zhu Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780143137122
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Life - August 23rd, 2022

This book is to be savored in the same way as a deep, healing conversation with a close friend. In their tender way, Mimi Zhu mines the political from the personal and vice versa. Through these essays, they demonstrates how intimate partner and systemic violence are two sides of the same coin. Writing about their own healing from trauma, Zhu acts as a companion for others walking the same path. "Our hauntings teach us that although we may be incapable of reversal, we are capable of infinite transformation."


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Never Broken: Songs Are Only Half the Story By Jewel Cover Image
By Jewel
$22.00
ISBN: 9780399185724
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Blue Rider Press - September 20th, 2016

The force which draws me to Jewel is ineffable. It could be that she is like me in many ways: a hyper-intuitive singer-songwriter who has woven her own philosophy from her challenging life experiences. This memoir reflects a life of heartbreak, triumph and all the nuance that lies between. I found myself totally engrossed in her way of making meaning of the world around her, and her ability to transmute pain into something beautiful. Jewel spreads light with her writing and I was hanging on every word.


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The Fruit Cure: The Story of Extreme Wellness Turned Sour By Jacqueline Alnes Cover Image
$32.00
ISBN: 9781685890759
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Melville House - January 23rd, 2024

Where do you turn when Western medicine can't help you? In the case of Jacqueline Alnes, as well as countless others in desperate situations, the wellness industry seems to offer that salvation. Acting as the polar opposite of traditional healthcare, extreme wellness is a space where influencers can profess magical cures: such as eating only 30 bananas a day to supposedly remedy a whole spectrum of issues and make people happier and healthier. It can be pretty convincing when beautiful, fit people are telling you that if you eat this particular way, all your problems will be solved; which is exactly how the "frugivore" movement was born. The Fruit Cure is a fascinating look at the ways wellness and our attention economy intersect.


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I'm Glad My Mom Died By Jennette McCurdy Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9781982185824
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon & Schuster - August 9th, 2022

Wow. It's difficult to review such a personal account of childhood trauma. While the experiences she reflects on are intense and horrifying to read, Jennette McCurdy's writing is sharp and humorous throughout. With a matter-of-fact tone, McCurdy managed to transport me to the world of child stardom and left me amazed at what she was able to overcome. "I'm Glad My Mom Died" illustrates the reality of living with a narcissistic parent and the resulting cognitive dissonance unique to it. In writing this, McCurdy is a beacon to those in the thick of toxic parental relationships.


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Down the Drain By Julia Fox Cover Image
$28.99
ISBN: 9781668011508
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon & Schuster - October 10th, 2023

*CW: drug use/overdose, abusive relationships* Truthfully, I can't tell you why I picked up Julia Fox's memoir despite knowing next to nothing about her... but I CAN tell you why I couldn't put it down. From the start this read was messy, dramatic, wild and completely engrossing. Fox is an iconoclast in the best way, and I genuinely found myself inspired by her take on life. Regardless of what people say about her, she finds a way to own her narrative and live her life on her own terms; not to mention she is super self aware and hilarious. It's safe to say that if she has no fans left, I'm dead.


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American Inmate: The Album By Justin Rovillos Monson Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781642599732
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Haymarket Books - March 12th, 2024

This is an urgent collection which represents a voice from a largely ignored demographic in America. If that were not a political act in itself, Justin Rovillos Monson's writing, which cultivates depth and vivid imagery, will radicalize you. The poet writes passionately of his inner and outer life incarcerated. The resulting work, sprinkled with curated lyrics to highlight the effect music has had on him, is impossible to confront without impact. His exploration of freedom within the confines of prison is nothing short of triumphant. "...unshackled/inside a massive cage—a captive/King".


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Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat By Derek Beres, Matthew Remski, Julian Walker Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9781541702981
Availability: Not Available In-Store - Usually Ships from Warehouse in 1-5 Days
Published: PublicAffairs - June 13th, 2023

For anyone who has dwelled in "spiritual" spaces and quickly watched the beliefs in that world become paranoid and conspiratorial, this book is for you. The authors, all of which were involved in New Age communities at different times, take a deep dive into the pipeline from interconnectedness and meditation to QAnon...and much more. Conspirituality, while deliciously dense, was a breath of fresh air for me. It provided context to this strange phenomenon I've watched in awe since 2020.


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Bohemian Magick: Witchcraft and Secret Spells to Electrify Your Life By Veronica Varlow Cover Image
$29.99
ISBN: 9780063027381
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper - November 2nd, 2021

The essence of witchcraft is learning to access ones' personal power; Bohemian Magick is a stylish guide to doing just that. In this enchanting book where magic meets music/aesthetic subculture, Veronica Varlow shares her family's Czech-Romani traditions but infuses them with her own wisdom (and encourages the reader to do the same). The vintage photography and artwork that accompany her potent spell work are what initially drew me to this book (I would be perfectly content living inside this aesthetic), but the inspiration gained from the content is what kept the pages turning.


If you are at all interested in kitchen witchery, especially as a complete beginner: pick up this book for a solid, dare I say magical, introduction. At the very least, it will make you more conscious of your relationship to cooking, how you direct your energy, and the metaphysical properties of different foods. At its best, it is a guidebook rich with information that will provide you with all you need to transform into a practicing kitchen witch.


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Vegan Vietnamese: Vibrant Plant-Based Recipes to Enjoy Every Day By Helen Le Cover Image
$24.99
ISBN: 9781631069307
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Rock Point - September 19th, 2023

Vietnamese is one of my favorite cuisines, veganism one of my greatest passions; so the combination of the two is what instantly drew me to this book which is now a staple in my kitchen. First of all, the vegan fish sauce is life changing, as that is typically the one ingredient that separates me and many dishes when dining out. There are endless fresh, vibrant dishes, and one of the best bahn mi sandwiches I have ever had. Mark my words, I will make every recipe in this book again and again for years to come.


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The Guest: A Novel By Emma Cline Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780812998627
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Random House - May 16th, 2023

You know that feeling after waking up from a nap where everything is quite hazy and disorienting for a minute? That's how it felt reading this book. Alex is a morally bankrupt grifter, using her talent for distorting truth and resourcefulness to navigate some tumultuous ground. Really, she's just created her own karma and now has to deal with it...but the process of watching this story unfold is unsettling to say the least. Though not a whole lot happens throughout most of the book plot-wise, The Guest is a searing character study with a guaranteed thrill-factor.


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Discover Your Dharma: A Vedic Guide to Finding Your Purpose By Sahara Rose Ketabi, Deepak Chopra (Foreword by) Cover Image
By Sahara Rose Ketabi, Deepak Chopra (Foreword by)
$25.95
ISBN: 9781797202068
Availability: Not Available In-Store - Usually Ships from Warehouse in 1-5 Days
Published: Chronicle Prism - January 5th, 2021

Sahara Rose embodies living your dharma. As a fan of her 'Highest Self' podcast, I already had a sense of her message and knew this one would resonate. And I was right! Choosing a unique life path is incredibly fulfilling but it can also feel lonely. In this book, Sahara Rose validates that experience and helps the reader access and lean into their own dharma, while incorporating Ayurvedic principles. Highly recommend for those carving their own path in the world.


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Rouge: A Novel By Mona Awad Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9781982169695
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: S&S/ Marysue Rucci Books - September 12th, 2023

Mona Awad has done it again. Part dark fairytale, part societal commentary (literally a recipe for perfection), Rouge did not disappoint. I love a self-contained, sharply observant and complex female narrator, so I was hooked from the start... but in the context of a gothic horror story which ruthlessly drags the beauty industry and the impossible standards it perpetuates? *Chef's kiss* Highly recommend for readers of Ottessa Moshfegh and Agustina Bazterrica.


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How to Meet Your Self: The Workbook for Self-Discovery By Dr. Nicole LePera Cover Image
$23.99
ISBN: 9780063267718
Availability: Not Available In-Store - Usually Ships from Warehouse in 1-5 Days
Published: Harper Paperbacks - December 6th, 2022

Self-discovery is a lifelong process. Once you are on the path, there are always new levels to reach and new growth to undergo. Dr. Nicole LePera (or "The Holistic Psychologist") has created many multi-faceted resources for those who seek more awareness, including this workbook. This text will introduce you to your "habit self", help you uncover why you have the core beliefs you do, and provide a framework from which to live more consciously. I can't praise this author enough, her work has helped me immensely on my own journey.


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Maeve Fly By CJ Leede Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781250857866
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Tor Nightfire - July 16th, 2024

Did I previously think I was impervious to fearing a book? Yes. Did I devour this in one sitting and then get really jumpy for days? Also yes. What drew me in was greater than just pure horror... it was the dark, moody vibe, gritty LA theme park setting, the duality within the narrator (both a professional Disney princess and a serial killer), and the vivid writing style. Some of the scenes are quite gruesome, which gives Maeve Fly that classic car crash, can't-look-away appeal.


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A Queer Dharma: Yoga and Meditations for Liberation By Jacoby Ballard, Susanna Barkataki (Foreword by) Cover Image
By Jacoby Ballard, Susanna Barkataki (Foreword by)
$17.95
ISBN: 9781623176518
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: North Atlantic Books - November 23rd, 2021

A Queer Dharma is a beautiful book about the importance of inclusivity in wellness spaces. It helped me better recognize what a privileged position I am in when I enter a mainstream yoga class in the western world. As Ballard points out, many marginalized people are recommended these practices for their therapeutic benefits without the consideration of how these environments could be potentially harmful. Required reading for any wellness practitioner who wants to create a genuine and connective community.


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The Dead are Gods By Eirinie Carson Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9781685890452
Availability: Not Available In-Store - Usually Ships from Warehouse in 1-5 Days
Published: Melville House - April 11th, 2023

Cathartic to its core, The Dead Are Gods is a love letter to a friend that can emerge only from grief. Eirinie Carson shines a light on her magnificent friend--her effortless cool, her punk rock sensibilities, her secrecy, her love of Baudelaire and French wine--and in doing so, she examines herself. I was moved by the rawness and honesty within these pages.


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Eating Animals By Jonathan Safran Foer Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780316069885
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Back Bay Books - September 1st, 2010

It’s convenient to ignore the moral dilemma of eating meat in the modern world. If you'd like to continue to do so without confronting feelings of guilt, I'd say this book isn't the one for you. Eating Animals is Safran Foer's exploration into the ethics around his choice, both for himself and as a parent. He takes a balanced approach in his research, speaking with a variety of people who work in the farming industry today. He also looks at broader cultural considerations around food and traditions before drawing his conclusions. This was an important book for me when I ultimately made the decision to go vegan. If you are veggie-curious, I think you may find this book quite illuminating.


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The Myth of Normal: Trauma, Illness, and Healing in a Toxic Culture By Gabor Maté, MD, Daniel Maté (With) Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9780593083888
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Avery - September 13th, 2022

Since discovering Gabor Maté, I have been hooked (pun intended, he writes extensively on addiction.) This is a different type of psychology book. One that begins with the nitty gritty: the origins of trauma in individuals; then zooms way out to analyze the culture at large. From this vantage point, the reader can see how toxic elements within our society that have become normalized create an environment where so-called "illness" can thrive. Though it is sometimes a difficult book to read re: the subject matter, I also found it quite freeing. Maté's analysis takes some of the weight off of the struggling individual and places it where it belongs: the unhealthy systems we've all had to adjust to.


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Night and Dana By Anya Davidson, Anya Davidson (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Anya Davidson, Anya Davidson (Illustrator)
$18.99
ISBN: 9781728430362
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Graphic Universe (Tm) - September 12th, 2023

Night and Dana is the recipe for my perfect graphic novel...to the point where it got a little spooky. Coming-of-age, captivating art style, film, queer love, climate action, witches... Like, get outta my head. It's also reminiscent of Ghost World (a big reason that I love graphic novels in the first place), particularly in how it portrays the central friendship of Dana and Lily. All I can hope is that my recommendation manifests a newfound love in graphic novels for the intrigued reader who picks this one up.


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When We Were Sisters: A Novel By Fatimah Asghar Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780593133477
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: One World - August 1st, 2023

Poets writing prose is my new favorite sub-genre. When We Were Sisters is at once passionate, eloquent and artful. It's one of those books where what's left out is just as important as what's said; where the way the story is presented is just as important as the events that are being described. Told from the perspective of a young girl traversing the complexities of growing up, this story addresses identity, sisterhood, and the vivid experience of adolescence. Pick this up if you are looking to be moved!


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Your Driver Is Waiting: A Novel By Priya Guns Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780593469330
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage - January 9th, 2024

With the same intense urgency of the narrator's voice, I found myself cruising through Priya Guns' debut novel, which follows a ride share driver in a tense city rife with protests. Damani is tired, overworked and trying to provide a decent life for her newly widowed mother. The odds are stacked against her in every possible way. When she becomes enchanted with Jolene, a seemingly progressive white woman, all of her problems seem to be magically solved... until they're not. Guns touches on something very real about the attempt to make it in a world that was not designed for your success, and the complicity of those who benefit from that same system.


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The Thick and the Lean By Chana Porter Cover Image
$28.99
ISBN: 9781668000199
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: S&S/Saga Press - April 18th, 2023

The dystopian world woven by Chana Porter in The Thick and The Lean is eerie in the ways it mirrors our own society; that was the initial draw of this work of fantasy for me, and after only a few pages I was hooked. Two stories of two women run parallel, both are in some way defying societal standards and freeing themselves from their planned destiny. I loved this book because it brought into question the aspects of ourselves we accept and reject. What makes something (or someone) "immoral" and what are the consequences of that label? A really compelling read that made me ravenous for more from this author.


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Crying in H Mart: A Memoir By Michelle Zauner Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781984898951
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage - March 28th, 2023

I'm still crying over Crying in H Mart; a beautiful piece of writing that I breezed through and which quickly became an all-time favorite. Having already been a fan of Michelle Zauner's indie act, Japanese Breakfast, this book had been on my TBR for a while. It only took one sentence and I was hooked. Zauner writes in detail about her relationship with her mother and the dishes from her home which bond them and punctuate her artistic life. Her writing inspired me, made me hungry, made me cry, and left me wanting to read more.


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Artist By Yeong-shin Ma, Janet Hong (Translated by) Cover Image
By Yeong-shin Ma, Janet Hong (Translated by)
$39.95
ISBN: 9781770466173
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Drawn and Quarterly - November 1st, 2022

"Part healing journey, part advice, part musings," to pull a direct quote from the book. Set in Korea, Artist chronicles the personal lives and careers of three friends: a musician, an author and a painter, each trying to "make it" in their respective fields. This graphic novel is complete with a unique art style, a healthy dose of realism, and a look at the anxieties and joys that any artist can relate to.


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Yellowface: A Reese's Book Club Pick By R. F. Kuang Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9780063250833
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: William Morrow - May 16th, 2023

"The truth is fluid. There is always another way to spin the story, another wrench to throw into the narrative." This story follows Juniper, a thoroughly unlikeable narrator, along her journey of stealing her late friend’s manuscript and marketing it as her own. As we explore the dark corners of Juniper’s psyche, much is revealed–not just about the clever ways that bad behavior can be justified by the perpetrator, but also about the process of writing, the publishing industry and the nature of envy. This was both a brilliantly executed work of satire and nearly impossible to put down.


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Wildfire (A Graphic Novel) By Breena Bard Cover Image
$12.99
ISBN: 9780316277655
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Little, Brown Ink - September 5th, 2023

A heart-warming graphic novel about climate activism set in the Pacific Northwest? Pretty hard not to love.


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Cultish: The Language of Fanaticism By Amanda Montell Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9780062993151
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper - June 15th, 2021

This book has two of my favorite things: language and not being roped into a cult. Amanda Montell examines "cultish" patterns that are present in our everyday world through the lens of a linguist, and with a dash of irreverent humor. She identifies a thread between a number of groups, from Jonestown to MLMs and provides a framework from which to think about how the use of language impacts our perception and how we might engage with dogmatic thinking.


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Some of My Best Friends: Essays on Lip Service By Tajja Isen Cover Image
$27.00
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ISBN: 9781982178420
Published: Atria/One Signal Publishers - April 19th, 2022

Tajja Isen offers a deeper, more scrutinizing look at modern day social justice and how it often does a disservice to the people it claims to benefit/protect. I love anything that deconstructs societal norms, and Isen's takes are especially thought-provoking and original.


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Natural Beauty: A Novel By Ling Ling Huang Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780593472927
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Dutton - April 4th, 2023

I would travel down the dark avenues of Huang's haunting prose over and over again. Natural Beauty was a journey, and often a quite mysterious one, which follows our Chinese-American narrator and former prodigious pianist into a transitory period in which she accepts a position at a morally questionable “wellness” company. This book weaves together themes such as race, beauty standards, and class, in a beautiful, horrifying crescendo which will keep you on the edge of your seat.